A/N: At this point I've only gotten to around chapter 300 of the manga; spoilers! (he looks better in the manga :D) so I'll be branching off from here, and am also trying to keep with the real storyline. In other words, don't laugh at me for being completely off…

Itachi x Original Character. Itachi ish teh love.

Mention of Sakura x Naruto

Warning: If you missed it on the summary, this is a –ahem- MATURE fic. If you're under 15…better not read unless your mind's already been corrupted haha.

Updates: Somewhat random, I'm juggling exams and another fanfic.

For all you Itachi fans out there.


Chapter 1 –"These wings are mine"

She's been observing her for some time, now, always from the shades under the rooftops. She wasn't delusional enough to believe that no one would notice her stalking the same girl, albeit loosely, for three weeks straight, but the heat of the sun pressed down over the hidden village of the leaf, Konoha during its dry summer months. So it wasn't strange, really, to pay no heed to the fellow Leaf lazily eyeing you from the top of a nearby building.

Of course, she had taken the precaution to change her outward appearance now and then.

"Today's the day," she whispered melodically into the stirring wall of heat. Not even a breeze to carry on her words. God, she loved this place. No one can sneak up behind her in this suffocating stillness. Or at least she thought not, and she wasn't one known to be overconfident. As a rookie seal-stealer, she'd survived the merciless entrance exam required to become one of the Lost Village of the Night. And had always been on her guard ever since. Paranoid.

She watched as the blond haired girl departed from her friends, laughing and flicking a strand of her long hair away from her eyes. Oh, to be so carefree, to feel protected and secure. Absentmindedly, she brandished a kunai kept underneath her each of her bracers, idly spinning it up and catching it with one hand, loving the sense of security it restored to her.

It as a nervous habit she still needed to do away with.

Life as a missing-nin sure wasn't a stroll in the park.

But it was going to get better. She grinned evilly. Yamanaka Ino's Shinranshin no Jutsu. She wanted it. She should be able to mimic the girl's behavior by now. Standing up, she passed her hands over her body and quickly performed some seals with expertise, directing her charka to morph herself into a small girl with a large ugly bruise on one bare knee. These large countries took pride in their head protectors; she would fake a fall and ask to touch Ino's head protector when she comes to help her up. As soon as her heads reach the girl's temples, however, it's over.

"Hehehe, too easy," she commented to no one in particular and vanished from where she stood.


"…It seems the kyuubi and his team has left on a mission a day since. This is a perfect time to carry out our plan, Kisame."

"I hear ya. I guess using your eyes to gather so much info tired you out, eh?" The shark man rose up from his crouch and heaved his giant blade over his shoulder effortlessly. "Leave it up to me." He turned towards the village before he sensed his partner had something else to add to that.

"…There is a girl to whom the kyuubi's teammate, Sakura, is attached to. Through this personal attachment we will have our stepping stones to Naruto." Itachi closed his eyes. "I have seen a vision of this girl through the minds of the ones I have interrogated." His crimson eyes opened slowly, giving Kisame ample time to avoid what was coming, but he trusted his partner enough to know Itachi meant him no harm.

The figure of a girl appeared before them, tall, blond, moderately attractive. Kisame grinned to himself at the fact that his partner would rather perform a simple genjutsu instead of transforming into a female. Already Itachi's breath was getting shorter from overexertion from the day's efforts. Kisame shook his head.

"I still don't know why we have to be so secretive if we want the kyuubi to know that we've kidnapped someone close to his friend. Don't we want witnesses?"

The illusion melted away, but Itachi's dark red eyes remained fixed onto him. It was the shorter man's habit to pause and stare whenever questioned, an intimidation to any outsiders, but Kisame was used to any habits Itachi sustained by then.

"…When we appear before them, it will be a lot faster if they are unprepared," Itachi explained. Itachi wasn't one to elaborate on details unless he volunteered on his own, so Kisame took it as a signal that the conversation had ended.

"Alright then. Point me in the right direction."

---

Some fifteen minutes later he stood on the highest roof he could find overlooking the clan area which Itachi pointed him in, disguised as a random Leaf passing out of the village who he knocked out easily. Big mansions surrounded him on all sides, fancy ones with well kept terraces and private gardens. The one he was currently standing on top of had an enormous outdoor pool right on the roof. It was going to be a pain finding out which one his target lives in, and he'd better do so before he could hold his disguise no longer.

Just as he was pondering this problem something unexpected happened. He felt the approach of another ninja a split second before someone landed on the opposite side of the same roof, keeping low to the floor. The ninja seemed to notice him at the same time and swore under her breath – for it was a female voice. Next thing he knew, a flock of needles came shooting at him full speed. In one rapid movement, Kisame dispelled his disguise and smacked the pitiful things away with one swing of his sword. "That was rude," he growled.

The female ninja hesitated in surprise, blue-gray eyes widening slightly. He had time to register the fact that she looked exactly like the image of the girl Itachi had shown him before the girl took out a small leather pouch with the opening loosened, drew in a deep breath, and released chakra to blast a swirling vortex of powder towards him.

On a normal Chuunin it might've worked, but he was no amateur. Heaving his sword back over his shoulder, Kisame brought down the blade down at the air before him. The force of the swing cut through the air and split away the girl's powder. She tsched, adjusting the large scroll strapped to her back before forming some seals with her hands. "Eat this!" Again she drew in a deep breath and braced herself. Before he could even blink, she breathed out a powerful torrent of wind which even pushed him – a master of chakra control – backwards when he sent his chakra to his feet to stick to the roof.

"You don't have to be so hospitable," Kisame grunted irritably, free hand performing some seals of his own. "Here's my gift." He released his jutsu, directing a large blast of water from the pool next to them, which overpowered his opponent's wind attack. She didn't even have time to inhale air back into her lungs before his water jutsu crashed into her and sent her over the edge of the roof along with it, breaking off chunks of stone as it went.

He came to the edge of the roof in time to see her execute a back flip in mid-air so that she'll land feet first, while choking and coughing water back up.

"There she is! Don't let her get away!"

Kisame turned to look in the direction from which the shouts rose, and saw several Leaf ninjas coming their way.

"Stop! What do you think you're doing?"

He saw the girl frown and tossed her head, transforming instantly into a girl with long black hair and a different set of clothing. She tore her gaze from the approaching Leafs and glared up at him before deciding to retreat. At the same time more shouts went up.

"Up there! Who is th-?" "Idiot, she has the scroll! Go after her!"

So she stole something of her own clan, did she? And she just turned herself into someone else so no one will recognize her. Interesting.

"Heh." Kisame brought his hands together in a seal and conjured up five water clones from the pool. No one escapes from him that easily. With one leap, he and his clones intercepted the Leaf ninjas going after his target.

"Sorry, gentlemen, that girl's coming with me." While a few of them hesitated in confronting him – for he was a well known criminal listed in the book – the rest took their chances in charging at him with weapons drawn. None of them were fast enough to match his speed; they were at most middle-rank ninjas unprepared to meet a member of the Akatsuki. He and his clones knocked the whole fifteen of them effortlessly with his giant sword, their kunai and shuriken useless on him, keeping in mind Itachi's unsaid warning to not make a mess.

"Now then…" He directed his attention to the way the girl had gone.

She couldn't have gone too far ahead. Kisame gave chase. It was broad daylight, anyone on a mad dash would be suspicious, and so the girl would've taken precaution to avoid being suspected. As he darted zigzag through the resident road, he saw that there really weren't many people outside, preferring to stay indoors of their mansions in this savage heat. Makes his job easier.

He was searching for any signs of movement up ahead when he felt things come shooting towards him. Kisame ducked just as four consecutive kunai rained down at him and his clones. Three were dodged. He had time to take in the explosive tag stuck on them before the forth one struck one of his water clones, and as it dispersed, an eruption of a fine cloud of powder enveloped the space around him. He held his breath instinctively, spreading out with his clones to avoid getting targeted at once.

"Tsch. I thought you'd follow me," the girl's voice sounded from above him. He turned to see her staring down at him from the top of tall, ancient tree by the side of the road. He saw her raise one eyebrow questioningly. "If I apologize for attacking you earlier, would you stop following me?" she asked with nothing but curiosity evident in her voice.

"What makes you think I'll let a scroll thief like you get away?" Kisame growled in response. Actually, it was one of his four remaining clones which spoke. As if he'll give away his true body that easily, but nice try.

She shrugged haphazardly, even closing her jade green eyes for a moment. "You took out the other pursuers," she pointed out in her delicate, matte voice.

"Because I'll be capturing you, myself," he replied, grinning bloodthirstily as he and his clones readied their swords.

"I see." She performed some seals with one hand and concentrated hard, dividing into five identical selves. So she could manage more than three clones as well, interesting. "Sorry for the wait. Please," the real body gestured for him to come at her. How amusing.

"Since you asked so nicely." He and his clones clapped his hands together; each inhaled and exhaled a blast of water at his opponent. The girl and her clones leapt out of the tree in different directions as his jutsu blew off everything above the middle of trunk. "I can summon water without a pool, you know," he added as an after word.

"Now I know," she admitted easily from right behind him. Kisame side stepped as her senbon needles struck the air where he had been a moment before.

"What the- How did you know which one's me?" He exclaimed as he swung his blade at her, which she neatly avoided by throwing her upper body back. It was in theory a five-on-five battle, but there was a slight pause in all her manifestations before they all turned to him.

"Lucky guess," she admitted, but before she could do anything more, she stopped dead in her tracks. A second later she dispersed, along with her 3 other clones.

"What? Shit," the real body of the girl swore, looking back over her shoulder.

"You fell for it," Kisame grinned. "I'm the real one." She frowned, a bit nervously, as all of his clones closed in on her, her green eyes sizing up her situation. "You thought I didn't keep track of which one's the real you after destroying that tree, did ya? My, you must be a beginner." Her right eye twitched, but other than that she remained completely still, no doubt calculating her options.

"That's right, my sword eats up chakra. What can you do now?"

"Not all my chakra," the girl replied slowly, her eyes traveling equally slow from one clone to the other.

"Just enough to knock yourself out if you push any harder," Kisame agreed.

"I see."

"The wise thing to do is to come with me quietly."

"Of course."

He barely had time to form a scowl before the girl rammed her fist in the clone right next to her, annihilating it. He reacted simultaneously, with him and his remaining clones lunging at her with their swords. She countered by punching downwards towards the ground and drawing enough chakra to conjure up a mini typhoon, hurling him backwards several feet against another tree, and he had to use his arms to shield his eyes from the dust and sand from the ground. His clones struck hard into walls and dispersed from the impact. It was enough to allow her a chance to escape.

"What the-?" Kisame growled, having received his second surprise of the day. He didn't like surprises. Not from elusive little brats. How the hell did she just do something like that without any chakra left? That's it. No more holding back.

Two leaps and he stood atop a nearby building, scanning the area. People were moving in to check on the commotion. He crouched down to avoid being seen, observing them suspiciously. One of them was seemingly uninterested in what was happening, keeping behind the rest, and instead her eyes wandered around, above, to the sides, searching. Heh. Kisame drew in a breath and blew out another blast of water, right at the girl. She dispersed. A clone, of course. He had to give her some credit for thinking ahead.

Shouts ran out from the attacked crowd. He looked up in time to see a figure escape over some rooftops. He went after her, ignoring the rest. Damned girl, Itachi was not going to be happy for him to have let himself being seen.

She knew he was still on her trail. She even glanced back over her shoulder. Despite having the lead, Kisame was faster, plus he had more chakra to spare. She stopped abruptly as he suddenly appeared before her, blocking her path. "Man, you are annoying," he growled, bringing his hand back to club her on the side of her head. She was knocked back, but right away puffed out into thin air. Another clone. Just how much chakra did she have left?

"You are persistent. I'll return the scroll to you, if you let me leave."

He frowned, spinning around to face her. "Too bad, you're not getting off that easy!" He lifted Samehada from his back and brought it down towards her in neck breaking speed. No way could she dodge that in such a state. The girl lifted her arms and took the blow shakily, but she held. She was keeping up with his strength with chakra. "Not good enough," he declared, bringing his knee up and thrusting it into her chest. She choked, unable to take in air, and her strength collapsed. Without pausing, he elbowed her hard on the top of her head for good measure.

She passed out.

"Jeez, finally," Kisame snorted, kneeling down to check if she was really out of action. "Well then." He leaned down and picked the girl up, heaving her over his shoulder as though she weighed nothing, the scroll still strapped to her back. Might as well leave it on, since she wanted it that bad, it'd probably save his sanity from a lot of whining later.

Itachi was waiting.

Kisame took off towards their arranged meeting place immediately.

---

"…She put up a fight, Kisame?" Itachi asked expressionlessly, eyes flickering over Kisame's robes.

"A bit, she caught me off guard with her fast restoration of chakra, if that's what it was. I could've sworn Samehada drained it all." He scowled and they both looked down at the unconscious girl lying at their feet.

"…This is not the girl," he heard Itachi state as-matter-of-factly.

"Er…you sure? I don't get why she hasn't revert back yet, but she was definitely the girl you showed me before she transformed to avoid being recognized by her clansmen."

Itachi stared down at the girl motionlessly. It was a good thing that he knew Itachi didn't take offense that easily, otherwise it would've been an uncomfortable silence.

"…Her subconscious had been trained to upkeep her transformation, but this is not the girl we are looking for," Itachi spoke after a long moment. Kisame stared blankly at the shorter man, who didn't take his blood red eyes off the unconscious girl.

"What? You mean…she- wait, what do you mean?"

No doubt Itachi was seeing through everything with his intense gaze, his sharingan. "This is not her true form, either," he explained. "She simply took on a different disguise when spotted by those clansmen you mentioned."

"Why would she do that?" Kisame asked incredulously as Itachi leaned down towards her. He didn't reply, which usually meant that it wasn't worth explaining…or in the rare case…that he wasn't sure. Instead, Itachi reached down to brush away locks of her black hair which curtained her headband from view. Of course, his sharingan should've been able to see through any obstacles, which meant Itachi did it for him to see.

Three vertical lines ran parallel down the center of her forehead protector.


The first thing she became aware of was her breathing. Or rather, the lack of air getting through to her lungs. Then everything came rushing back at once; from her splitting headache, to her scrunched lungs, to the numerous sores she had running up her arms to her shoulder blades. She fought to open her eyes. What happened to put her in such a state of pain?

It all came back.

She bolted upright instantly, up in a crouch, causing a loud clack to be heard as she banged her forehead protector against something equally hard. Sharp stabs of pain pricked at her brain from the impact. Damn reflexes.

She went completely still as soon as the blood stopped rushing to her head. Something felt very, very wrong.

Upon opening her eyes she found herself staring up at a hazy image of someone rising up slowly. She squinted, trying to get her eyes readjusted. Next thing she knew, she was looking at a pair of strange, red eyes. She couldn't look away; they were mesmerizing in the frightening way that they seemed to be able to see through her. See through her façade.

"AHAHAHA!" Her attention was thankfully diverted by the form standing back of the red-eyed man. She quickly took up a low defensive stance, despite the way her body protested. It was the…monster man from before, apparently laughing at something he found funny. The man with red eyes tilted his head ever so slightly back towards him, and the interrupter ceased his laughter, though he kept on grinning.

She took stock of herself. Nothing seems to be amusing in any form…and what was that thing she banged her head into anyway? Likely she'll never find out.

Once again, those eerie red eyes were on her, weighing her down. She upheld his gaze with considerable effort. This person…even the man who had defeated her was respectful to him. Her situation wasn't looking too good. Then again, it was due to her being careless with the chakra-draining sword did she lose so quickly. Even though that wasn't an excuse for failure.

She checked her back, motionless, and felt the scroll still attached. Well, that's a good thing.

Alright. Stay calm.

She drew in a slow even breath. "You are not Leaf ninjas, what do you want with me?"

They were missing nins like her. The horizontal slash running through the center of their headbands said as much. She hadn't given it much thought when she'd encountered the first earlier, but for there to be two missing nins right there in front of her then meant that it couldn't be just a coincidence.

"She gets to the point quick, doesn't she?" The gruff voice of the man with the countenance resembling a shark remarked. "What do we do with her, Itachi-san? Can I wound her? Can I?" he asked freely. To which Itachi – or that's she thought he called the man with the eerie red eyes – answered by the way of a meaningful, level look his way.

"But, we don't have any use for her, since she's not the girl…" the other man pointed out. Itachi gave no response.

She glanced from one to the other. Well shit. She had no chakra left, her arms were numb, and there were two of them. How was she going to get out of this one?

"My sisters will avenge me."

They stared at her, one incredulously, the other vacantly.

"Recognize the forehead protector? She's an Amazon. They call each other sisters." It was Itachi who spoke. A shiver ran through her, and it wasn't only due to the sound of his voice. She looked back at him calmly, hoping he didn't see her flinch.

"The Lost Village of the Night, correct?" he continued in his monotonous, venomous voice. "Jutsu thieves. Their disguising techniques are top-notch – has to be top-notch – for doing what they are hired for."

"Tsch. I see I'll need to watch what I say around you, Itachi-sama." One corner of her lips twisted up in an enigmatic smile.

The other man growled warningly. "She assumes we're going to let her live, eh? Man, she's annoying. Can I at least break a limb off her, Itachi-san?"

"No," Itachi replied curtly. He took a step closer, despite being close enough to be intimidating already, so that she had to strain her neck looking up at his eyes. "You know what I expect of you?" he asked coldly, a soft whispering which chilled her down to her core while the heat of the day still raged around her.

She swallowed, her mouth feeling dry as she responded; "Yes. You want to use me. In exchange for letting me live."

"In exchange for your life," he confirmed expressionlessly.

They passed a rather tense moment in silence.

I guess I'll have to play along. For now.

She got up slowly, taking time to smooth down her lightweight tunic. "My name's Voreka." She forced a pleasant countenance and extended her right hand. Itachi said nothing. The straw hat over his head and the high collar of his cloak shielded his mouth and eyebrows from view. It made it extremely difficult to discern any reaction, if he ever had any to begin with. Without even an acknowledgement, he turned away and started off.

"…friendly…" Voreka muttered to herself. Nonetheless she was relieved to not have to endure those creepy red eyes for the time being.

"Voreka is it?" the other man spoke up, turning her attention to him. He took and shook her hand instead. "Hoshigaki Kisame."

She glowered at him.

He glowered back.

"Kisame," Itachi ordered.

The man named Kisame dropped her hand and took a step back, sizing her up. "I trust you can keep up on your own."

"I will not have you drag me even if my legs are broken," she replied dignifiedly, eyeing him skeptically.

"Good," he scowled. "I'll get to knock you out cold again if you dare try something." At that, he turned towards where Itachi stood waiting patiently, underneath the shades of a tree several yards away.

"Wait," she requested quickly. He turned sideways to her, raising a brow – or at least, if he had more human features, it would be raising an eyebrow.

"What?"

She ignored the hostile tone.

"Can I at least get my belongings from the inn I checked in at?"

Kisame looked to Itachi, who in turn drew his impassive gaze to her. She knew the answer before it came.

"No."

Tsch. No tolerance at all…

Things were going to be harder than she initially thought.

"Come." He took off without further ado.

Hmmph.

Beside her, Kisame shrugged, almost apologetically. "Consider yourself lucky you got off easy." He, too, took off in the direction of the other missing nin, no doubt expecting her to follow.

"Oh, but I do," she replied, keeping up with his speed. She tried to keep the half-hearted doubt from her voice.

"I haven't seen anyone catch him off guard for the entire time I've been with him." The shark man laughed, earning him an incredulous look from her. "But you, you rammed him right in the forehead when you came back to reality with a jolt. Haven't they ever taught you to be secretive where you came from?"

Voreka took her time in replying. She was determined not to let her ragged breath show, thanks to him inflicting injuries to her chest. "Oh that, I was under the delusion that I haven't been out more than a few seconds," she explained sarcastically. She reached one hand up to feel for any bleeding. "But that was an unexpectedly hard blow, Kisame-san."

He grinned down at her from the side. "You know what, I think you're okay. So I'll warn you." Kisame nodded front, indicating to the form of the man ahead of them. "Watch your back. You didn't exactly get off on Itachi's good side."

"Agreed."

"…and it would be a very bad idea to attempt an escape…" he added.

"Of course."

He gave her an enigmatic look, recalling what happened earlier when she gave the same response.

"Don't say I haven't warned you, girl," he growled.

She acknowledged his warning with an incline of her head.

"Don't worry about me, Kisame-san," she teased. "I can endure…anything…"

If he searched for a meaning to that, she dropped him no hints. Instead she slipped on a mask of seriousness as she faced front, eyeing the back of the man in front.

She will bear anything. Risk anything. To reach her goal.